Homer Alaska - Announcements

Story last updated at 6:41 PM on Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Homer's Best Bets

It's that time of year when the most beautiful beings in the world strut about Madison Square Garden. They're pampered, coiffed, combed and curled. Elegant, handsome, serene and dapper, each year New York and the world are stunned by their supreme attractiveness. Holy Rin Tin Tin! What? You thought the Betster meant Fashion Week? Nah, we're talking the Westminister Kennel Club Dog Show, the Oscars of doggiedom, the event when all breeds compete for Best of Show.

Things have been a little hectic in the bipedal world, so can anyone be excused for seeking solace among dogs? You have to love watching cute canines strut the stage, perfectly posed and graceful. Although there's nothing wrong with an adorable little bundle of fur, particularly to warm your feet at night, the Betster thinks it's way cool that this year a sporting breed won, Foxcliffe Hickory Wind, a Scottish deerhound, but hey, her friends call her "Hickory."

Like the bumper sticker says, "Homer, Alaska: Nice dogs, strange people." We're partial here to our pups. Even Mayor James Hornaday likes to walk his dog on the beach, as good an advertisement as any for a town. Don't have a dog and pining for some canine companionship? Join the lunch crowd on their daily beach walks. A pocket full of treats and you'll meet all sorts of furry strangers. Or, borrow a dog by volunteering to walk the eager adoptees at the animal shelter.


Photo by Lindsay Johnson, Homer News

Just hangin' out A bald eagle lounges upside down in a birch tree near the Homer Spit Trail parking lot. The eagle hung by his talons for a few minutes, catching some rays before perching normally.

We're a dog town, you betcha. Cats are cool, but cats only go out in public with entourages. They're private and can be seen by appointment, whereas dogs, well, shucks. Dogs abound here, often riding shotgun with their human buddies. On the street, on the beach, on the ski trails, ears flapping in the wind on a boat, you can't walk 100 yards in this town without seeing a dog. Isn't there a dog holiday coming up? Shouldn't there be National Hug Your Dog Just Because Week? Well, there oughta be. Write Don, Lisa and Mark, maybe cc: Barack, and see what they can do.

And when you're not hugging your dog, brushing your dog, feeding your dog and picking dog hairs out of your clothing, there's lots more to do, some of it also involving dogs, like some of these Best Bets:

BEST YOU WANT SHAKESPEARE WITH THAT? BET: Who knows what the kids at West Homer Elementary School will come up with to entertain you at its Alaskana Dinner Theatre, starting at 5 p.m. today at the school. There's just one way to find out: stop by for a lasagna dinner at the bargain price of $6 adults and $3 for children. Proceeds benefit sixth grade field trips.

BEST INTO THE WILD BET: The Betster got lucky one year and got to visit the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, mosquitoes, bears and all. It's a totally awesome place, but if you can't visit, take a virtual trip courtesy of a film premiering a 6 p.m. tonight, "America's Wildest Refuge." See story, page 10. The film shows at the Homer Theatre; admission is $5 and benefits Alaska Geographic and the Friends of the Alaska Wildlife Refuges.

BEST TIME BE TIME BET: When actors and playwrights Jack Dalton and Allison Warden were asked to write a play about the Alaska Native experience since statehood, they decided a lot more has happened in Native culture than the past 50 years. They went back in time — way back. See what they came up with in "Time Immemorial," showing at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Bunnell Street Arts Center. Admission is a suggested $15 general, $12 Bunnell members and $8 youth.

BEST GO JOHNNY GO: Johnny B has been playing around Alaska since back in the last century when he drove around in a truck, his piano on the back. We're fortunate to have him settle in Homer. If you haven't seen Johnny B perform, you're in for a treat when he does a gallery concert at 7 p.m. Friday at the Homer Council on the Arts.

BEST SWEET SOUL BET: Yet again Homer is blessed with awesome national talent that happens to be passing through. If you have a spare $10, swing by the Down East at 8 p.m. Friday for Karen Savoca and Pete Heitzman. Of the duo, the Anchorage Daily News wrote, "With a soulful voice, sense of humor, and joyful tears, a definite must see." The Rochester, N.Y., City Paper said, "Music like warm bath water, soaking into your pores so sweetly that you dread getting out of the tub."

BEST TURN OFF THE TABLET BET: Sure, kids, that new iPad is the bomb, but with these great sunny days and awesome snow, it's time to put the tablet to sleep. "Go outside and play!" your grandparents used to say to your Mom and Pop when they were kids glued to the TV, and it's just as true today. Parents, shares ideas on how to get your kids outdoors and spending time with nature at a meeting of Nature Rocks Homer from 9 a.m.-noon Saturday at the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center.

BEST ON TOP OF SPAGHETTI BET: Heading north on Saturday and need a little food for the road? Stop by the Carol Bock Hall at the Ninilchik State Fair grounds from 5 to 8 p.m. for "A Night in Italy." Enjoy spaghetti with meatballs and all the trimmings. Proceeds benefit two Ninilchik youth so they can attend World Youth Day 2011 in Madrid and meet Pope Benedict XVI.

BEST WINTER WARM UP BET: Get a little chilly from all that wonderful winter weather? Warm up at 9 Saturday night at Alice's Champagne Palace with a Latin and Cajun music dance party. DJ Jeanette Aragone spins tunes, and if you know her, we're talking music sure to get your blood pumping. Heck, you might learn a new dance move or two and meet that special someone to practice with.